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Oh swell, per Khan, Kulfan: Red Wings’ Brendan Smith expects to miss 3-4 weeks; Helm still hurting

Updated 4x with Helm news at 3:03 PM: MLve's Ansar Khan provides more bad news in the Red Wings' injury department:

Ditto for the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan...

This news sucks, too:

Update: The Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness confirms:

Update #2: Here's what Smith had to say about his shoulder injury to the Detroit Free Press's George Sipple...

Detroit Red Wings defenseman Brendan Smith said he will miss 3-4 weeks with a “normal AC sprain” in his right shoulder.

Smith was injured in the first period of Saturday’s game at Columbus when he was hit by forward Derek Mackenzie.

“I was in the corner and I think Mackenzie came to hit me and I dropped my shoulder,” Smith said. “I didn’t fall, it didn’t really hurt right away. Next thing I was skating out to the blue line and shoulder felt a little weird.”

Smith said the rash of injuries that have hit the Wings’ defensemen is just bad luck.

“It’s unbelievable how the injury bug seems to be hitting the D-side,” Smith said. “In my case for sure, I don’t even know how it happened. Guy came to hit me, and he was the one that I think actually fell. I couldn’t believe it actually happened.”

And the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness:

The news on Brendan Smith isn’t as good as originally. Smith suffered an AC joint sprain in his shoulder Saturday night in Columbus and said he could be out 3-4 weeks.

“Just bad luck, I mean any injury everybody says bad luck, but it’s unbelievable how it seems to be hitting the D side,” Smith said Monday at Joe Louis Arena. “It is bad luck, and in my case, for sure, I don’t even know how it even happened. He came and hit and he was the one who actually fell or whatever. I couldn’t believe that it actually happened, but these things happen. Just have to get better about it.”

Smith, Niklas Kronwall and Kyle Quincey were the only three defensemen to play every game thus far.

“That is frustrating, I mean, playing well and playing lots of minutes than going to not playing at all is very frustrating,” Smith said. “I mean being injured sucks to begin with, but just playing pretty well with lots of minutes than going to playing none is frustrating.”

Smith has just one assist on the season.

“He’s a good player, he moves the puck on the back end,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “We don’t have a lot of those type of guys. That’s life, someone else gets a chance. I just told (Brian Lashoff) two days ago he was going to Grand Rapids. Just shows you I lied to him. The truth in our game today and the truth tomorrow are different. Lash was on his way back but now he’s staying.”

Update #3: Here's MLive's Ansar Khan's story about Smith:

Smith was injured during the first period in Saturday's 4-2 loss at Columbus, on a routine check from Derek MacKenzie in the corner.

“I dropped my shoulder and next thing I know – I didn’t fall and it didn’t hurt right away – I was skating out to the blue line and shoulder kind of felt weird,'' Smith said. “I don’t even know how it even happened. He came and hit me and he was the one who actually fell. I couldn’t believe that it actually happened. It wasn’t like it was a dirty hit or anything. Just a fluky, weird incident.''

He won't need surgery, only rest. Smith has a plus-4 rating in eight games, tops among the team's defensemen. He was averaging 19:16 in time ice and was logging minutes on the second power-play unit and killing penalties.

“Playing well and playing lots of minutes and then going to not playing at all is very frustrating,'' Smith said. “I mean being injured sucks to begin with.''

Smith said he has never hurt his right shoulder.

“I have pretty good range of motion, which I think is the upside,'' Smith said. “But like I said, you never really know with these sprains, so you kind of have to wait until you have full mobility and it’s strong enough to go.”

Smith is the fifth Red Wings defenseman to be injured this season, joining Carlo Colaiacovo (shoulder), Ian White (leg laceration), Jakub KIndl (groin) and Jonathan Ericsson (hip, shoulder). Ericsson and Kindl are back. White said he hopes to return for Tuesday's game against Calgary. Colaiacovo has skated on his own, not yet with the team, and remains at least two weeks away.

Update #4: MLive's Khan offers a Helm update as well:

Darren Helm's ailing back isn't getting any better, so he will have further tests to try to determine the issue.

“I think we got a bone scan coming up pretty soon,'' Helm said Monday. "I think we're going to do it today or tomorrow morning, just to see if there's anything structural.''

An MRI last Monday revealed no structural damage, but the pain hasn't subsided. Helm hasn't been on the ice since leaving midway through practice on Jan. 26.

“I was pretty upset the first time it happened, but trying to stay positive, that's all I can do,'' Helm said.

Helm missed all of training camp after tweaking his back while lifting weights on Jan. 10. He played one game, Jan. 25 vs. Minnesota, before experiencing a setback.

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Comments

mrfluffy's avatar

Has there been some sort of turnover in the Wings’ medical/training staff?

This rash of injuries 3 years in the running is rather unsettling.

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 02/04/13 at 01:47 PM ET

WingedRider's avatar

So WHY did the Wings Medical staff not check all possible issues with Helm’s back, Structural, muscle, etc.?  This has been a lingerering problem and he is going to have a long stretch finding his game shape.

Mostly I don’t want to see Samuelsson on the roster anywhere! The Bottom 6 is bad enough, need some fresh young legs and physical play.

Smith loss is going to hurt and I assume sitting Lashoff will lead to the “he needs some ice with the Griffins” and he will be sent down.  Kindl and or Quincey should be sitting, waived, traded, whatever!!!!

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 02/04/13 at 01:48 PM ET

gowings's avatar

this keeps getting better and better…..if I did not know any better, I would say the hockey gods really are pissed against our team right now…..I am not even sure if you can call this bad luck, bad karma? Anyone knows voodoo lol?

Posted by gowings from MTL on 02/04/13 at 01:49 PM ET

gowings's avatar

oups….I don’t know how my post just go a “publicity” .....don’t click “team” I did not put that there!!!!

Posted by gowings from MTL on 02/04/13 at 01:51 PM ET

Avatar

Kindl and or Quincey should be sitting, waived, traded, whatever!!!!

Was Kindl really bad against the BJs, because he was alright against the Blues and Quincey’s been better of late as well.

Posted by Garth on 02/04/13 at 01:52 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

All teams are getting beaten up and chewed up. What surprises me is that so many are sitting due to groin issues and no one seems to be talking about the truncated training camps relative to these strain injuries. This was an irresponsibly planned season.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 02/04/13 at 02:08 PM ET

ChowYunCat's avatar

Posted by ChowYunCat on 02/04/13 at 02:40 PM ET

Avatar

I think we all agree that losing so many D-men is a real problem, but it seems to me that even with a patch defense, the Wings key problem seems to be the lack of offensive production.  Obviously I think missing Smith is going to be rough on the back end, but hopefully inserting Tatar into the bottom six will generate the energy that is lacking due to Helm’s absence.  With a quality right handed shot in Eaves and an above average skillset in Tatar, hopefully they can work some magic to get some production out of that 3rd line.  Once Helm can be inserted into that Center role with those two, I think we will have a great third line that will be able to outwork their opponents.  Only one way to find out!  Throw some Tatar sauce on this team and lets put some pucks in the net!

Posted by TatarSauce on 02/04/13 at 02:57 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Kindl and or Quincey should be sitting, waived, traded, whatever!!!!

The best solution to having a dearth of defensemen: Get rid of defensemen!

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 02/04/13 at 03:10 PM ET

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the Wings key problem seems to be the lack of offensive production. 

Their offense is actually the best thing about the team, at least relative to the league as a whole.

15th in goals for.
20th goals against.
25th PP.
26th PK.

The problem with the offense is that only 5 or 6 guys are on it.  D, Z, Fil, Brunner, Franzen and Bert have 18 of Detroits 22 goals.  Their 18 goals is pretty good.  That the whole rest of the roster has all of 4 is atrocious.  Sammy, Cleary, Eaves, Tootoo, Helm, Miller, Abdelkader, the whole blue line… all no-shows.  Some because they suck right now, some because they are hurt, and some because they have always sucked on offense… but still.  It is what it is.

The defense is a) ravaged by injuries and b) has gotten spotty goaltending from Howard.

It’s just a bleeped up season.  Missing the playoffs would be a great thing for this team, risk-reward wise.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 02/04/13 at 03:16 PM ET

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The best solution to having a dearth of defensemen: Get rid of defensemen!

So you think keeping those guys fixes anything?

Posted by HockeyinHD on 02/04/13 at 03:17 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

So you think keeping those guys fixes anything?

It fixes the problem of having to play NHL games with only four healthy defensemen on your roster, which is a generally frowned-upon strategy.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 02/04/13 at 03:23 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

The rash of injuries, to all teams, should surprise no one.

The Stanley Cup winner this year will be the team that can actually ice enough NHL-caliber players come June.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 02/04/13 at 03:25 PM ET

Avatar

It fixes the problem of having to play NHL games with only four healthy defensemen on your roster, which is a generally frowned-upon strategy.

Good point.  If we all get together and try really hard we may be able to come up with a few other solutions to that problem.

Okay, get rid of two guys and… and… and… then…

Come on JJ, help out!  I know we can do this if we just try!

Posted by HockeyinHD on 02/04/13 at 04:11 PM ET

perfection's avatar

while I agree Quincey has “gotten better” since the first game or two (when he looked like he wouldn’t crack the Griffins top 4), for what we are paying him he is still incredibly underachieving. Basically “getting better” seems to mean not single handedly losing games, which while a good thing, seems to be very skewed criteria for a dman we are paying $3.5mil. He should be actually HELPING or doing GOOD things for that kind of money, not merely minimizing mistakes.

With that said, we obviously can’t get rid of him as we have NOBODY on D right now. But I’d honestly be content to see him bought out this summer assuming nobody will trade for him (a safe assumption unless he starts playing up to his contract in which case there’s no longer a reason to get rid of him)

Kindl, on the other hand, I would definitely not give up on. He hasn’t had nearly the opportunity in the NHL that Quincey has had, he’s a former number one draft pick, he’s only 25, we’ve developed him for 7 years and, to my eyes at least, his play has been pretty stellar the last few games. I know he’s coming to a crossroad in his career where he has to show he belongs or else, but as of now, I think it’s definitely too early to quit on him. I thought there was an instantly noticeable improvement on the blue line on the second PP with him in and I think his puck moving skills are needed more now than ever. I really hope these injuries will give Kindl a chance to get some serious minutes, several games in a row, really for the first time in his career. Hopefully he keeps improving and carves a spot on the roster for himself. He could be an affordable, solid, overachieving offensive minded 3-6 dman for many years to come if he can continue his progress over the rest of this season. I’m honestly more optimistic about Kindl than Quincey and if you made me pick one would choose Kindl without hesitation (considering salaries too of course).

That sucks balls about Smith. I think he’s been really good so far. He’s got moves very few dman in the league have. He has a unique style for a defenseman for sure. Can’t wait to see how his career develops.

And it sucks that our team apparently rises and falls on Helm’s health and yet he just cannot stay healthy. Here’s hoping Tatar’s addition helps fill the void. I know Tatar’s having a great year and our secondary scoring is garbage, but with our offensive depth and the fact it’s going to take a top prospect to pry away anything resembling a number one dman, I wonder if this isn’t a bit of a showcase for Tatar?

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 02/04/13 at 04:32 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

I really hope these injuries will give Kindl a chance to get some serious minutes, several games in a row, really for the first time in his career.
Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 02/04/13 at 03:32 PM ET

First time in his career? He’s got 110 NHL games under his belt and his track record is: kinda solid in the beginning then he falls apart. I’m hoping the kid finally gets his poop in a group but also understand how the brass is getting a little impatient at this point.

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 02/04/13 at 04:44 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

I had a sprained AC once - sucked.  Couldn’t even lift my arm to wash my hair.  As soon as I saw him whiff on the puck after the hit, I figured that’s what it was. 

I still have a big bump in my shoulder from it, for all who were concerned for my health.  wink

Posted by TreKronor on 02/04/13 at 05:00 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Posted by HockeyinHD on 02/04/13 at 03:11 PM ET

Alright high-speed, trade for who then?  You’re going to get rid of 2 D that can play at the NHL level.  Badly, but they can still play.  One has some trade value because of experience and size but mental gaffs make him a liability in his own end and doesn’t use his size enough.

So you think we should trade 2 D capable of filling in for injuries for 1 D.  Alright.  So if we’re giving up 2 roster player D for 1, then I want a large return.  Anyone you know getting rid of top 2 D?  I’m sure if you try just little bit harder you can figure it out.

It takes 2 to tango and top flight D aren’t really being traded right now.

You’d be better of dangling Kindl and Cleary + a pick or prospect for a top 4 D.  You know, considering we just had to go out and sign Huskins to keep icing warm bodies for games.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 02/04/13 at 05:07 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Posted by HockeyinHD on 02/04/13 at 03:11 PM ET

You really miss the lockout, don’t you?

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 02/04/13 at 05:10 PM ET

perfection's avatar

He’s got 110 NHL games under his belt

fair enough, but I think he’s accrued these primarily by either being called up early in his career or rotating in and out as a seventh dman. I’d just like to see him play a full season (even an abbreviated one) on the top 6. All of these guys have NHL skill, so beyond that it’s about confidence, consistency, work ethic, health and luck. Most of these just can’t be developed when you’re looking over your shoulder thinking you’re going to sit next game if you commit one turnover or get caught pressing one time. I definitely don’t think Kindl’s a sure thing by any stretch, but we have to give him a good shot at playing several games in a row (hopefully injury free) and see if he can’t start developing some confidence. If it doesn’t work and his play falls off, at least we know for sure. 

Obviously Babs didn’t have that kind of faith in him from the start (seeing Huskins immediately passed him on the depth chart), but now he has no choice but to play him and it’s his chance. Now or never Yakub…

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 02/04/13 at 05:33 PM ET

Avatar

First time in his career?

He’s played a little more than half the season for two season and his ice time per game has been dead last among the regulars on both of those seasons.

So yeah, maybe these injuries will give Kindl a chance to get some serious minutes, several games in a row, really for the first time in his career.

Posted by Garth on 02/04/13 at 05:34 PM ET

RedMenace's avatar

As much as some of us may hate it, Quiche will get at least 20 games before he’s benched/traded…

... and I really don’t understand why Lashoff is still sitting in the press box; either put him in or send him back to Grand Rapids so he doesn’t get rusty (though I expect if White is good to go tomorrow, he will indeed be sent back to GR).

Posted by RedMenace from the Church of Jesus Lashoff on 02/04/13 at 06:23 PM ET

Avatar

As much as some of us may hate it, Quiche will get at least 20 games before he’s benched/traded…

20 games?  I’m going to say he gets another contract before they give up on him.

Posted by Garth on 02/04/13 at 07:04 PM ET

Crater's avatar


Anyone have any rum and cigars?

Posted by Crater from SoCal on 02/04/13 at 07:29 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

I don’t know if Rum Cigars are going to cut it Crater.  Jobu seems royally pissed at the Wings.  May need a virgin.  HD?

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 02/04/13 at 08:38 PM ET

cigar_nurse's avatar

Jobu ya bastard, aint gettin no cigars from me. I’m not smoking any myself since getting back to playing hockey in January.

Posted by cigar_nurse from Greenville South Cakalakee on 02/04/13 at 09:36 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Gettin’ an e-cig tomorrow CN, congrats on quitting.  Cigars are a tough one, my old man had a hell of a time.  You’re rockin’ and rollin’ brother.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 02/04/13 at 09:54 PM ET

cigar_nurse's avatar

They are not hard to give up to me. I did not have one for a year and a half and got to smoking them while out with my shoulder.More   due to bordom than anything else. Quit smoking the cowboy killers in 1990 because I thought it was outrageous to pay a buck twentyfive for a pack. LOL  Alot of quitting is just putting it in your mind that they are not going to rule your life anymore.

Posted by cigar_nurse from Greenville South Cakalakee on 02/04/13 at 10:19 PM ET

Avatar

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 02/04/13 at 07:38 PM ET

BAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Posted by Garth on 02/04/13 at 10:42 PM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.